Director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified portions of two documents that show the CIA picked up intelligence regarding Hillary Clinton’s alleged approval of a campaign to link President Donald Trump to Russia’s election meddling.
Ratcliffe declassified portions of notes taken in 2016 by then-CIA director John Brennan during a meeting with President Obama and his national security advisers.
The intelligence chief also declassified portions of a memo from the CIA’s counterintelligence center sent on Sept. 7, 2016, to then-FBI director James Comey and Peter Strzok.
The documents, obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, were cited last week in a letter that Ratcliffe sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.
That letter said that U.S. intelligence “gained insight” in late July 2016 into “Russian intelligence analysis” that asserted that Clinton had approved a plan to link Trump to Russia’s interference efforts in order to distract from her use of a private email server.
Ratcliffe said in the letter last week that U.S. intelligence agencies were uncertain whether Russian intelligence had fabricated the information about Clinton’s authorization of the plan.
Democrats accused Ratcliffe last week of spreading Russian disinformation. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told Politico that the allegation was “baseless bulls—.”
The documents released Tuesday do not provide much clarification about the underlying CIA intelligence.
They do confirm, however, that the CIA obtained the intelligence Ratcliffe referred to in his letter.
Republicans asserted that the documents raise questions about whether Clinton personally approved the dissemination of the false allegation linking Trump to Russia.
Clinton campaign advisers publicly accused Trump of aiding Russia’s hacking efforts following the July 2016 release of DNC emails by WikiLeaks.
A report from the special counsel’s office released last year said there was no evidence that Trump or members of his campaign conspired with Russia to hack and release Democrats’ emails.
According to Brennan’s undated notes, he told President Obama that the intelligence community had picked up evidence that Russians had learned that Clinton personally approved a plan on July 28, 2016, to link Trump to Russia’s hacking of the Democrat National Committee.
Brennan’s notes refer to intelligence related to Clinton’s approval “of a proposal from one of her foreign policy [advisers] to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”
The memo referred to information related to “US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
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